Zoe Leonards practice involves a type of cerebral roaming combined with carefully considered observation. For more than 20 years she has criss-crossed nature and culture, cityscapes and museums, always searching for signs that say something about structures, about natural and cultural conditions and the contradictions, parallels and connections among them. Leonard’s photographs of anatomical wax figures, fashion shows, trees and fences present figures in sparse black-and-white images that open up a visual field of thought and reveal within it our visible world, that is, the concrete and established structures that make up our reality.
At documenta 9 in Kassel Leonard created a stir with her placement of black-and-white photographs of female genitalia in the context of a male-dominated museum. The political aspects of her work form the backdrop of her constant struggle with shape, with imagery, with the union of symbols and content. This is the first book encompassing her complete oeuvre.